Substantive short articles on Marxian sociology

Breaking Through: Towards Second-Generation Neo-Marxist Class Theory

Louis Althusser famously claim that there is an ‘epistemological break’ in Marx, between a subjectivism in his early work and an objectivism in his later work. In contrast, my second-generation neo-Marxist reading demonstrates epistemological consistency and complementarity across Marx’s works, while revealing the break-in-account between the Manifesto’s class prognosis and Marx’s mature account of capitalism. In particular, while the Communist Manifesto and Capital Vol. 1 are epistemologically consistent; the analysis of the later shatters the class prognosis of the former.

By |2019-04-03T09:38:56-04:00Apr 3, 2019|

The Life and Legacy of Rosa Luxemburg After 100 Years, January 1919-January 2019

Luxemburg’s 1906 pamphlet, “The Mass Strike,” analyzed the essentially spontaneous character of the gigantic strikes that accompanied the Russian revolution of 1905, and it showed that the workers learned and developed in the course of the struggle, not only strategy and tactics, but also revolutionary ideas. In a similar vein, she also wrote a stinging critique of Lenin’s more top-down concept of revolutionary organization, in a famous response to his writings on the vanguard party to lead. Also in this vein, Luxemburg penned an essay offering critical support to the 1917 Bolshevik revolution in Russia, with her criticism centering mainly on the establishment of a single-party state, something she accurately predicted would undermine the democratic aims of the revolution.

By |2019-03-28T20:02:59-04:00Mar 28, 2019|

Survey Finds Economists’ Politics Loom Large in their Views of Capitalist Crises

We doubt the extent to which the Marxist tradition has developed an adequate social psychology of knowledge.  People’s politics cannot, of course, be simply read off their class position alone.

By |2019-03-28T20:01:03-04:00Mar 23, 2019|

Struggles New and Old: Yellow Vests, the French Revolution and 21-Century Anti-Capitalism

The yellow vest movement has displayed a curious mix of modern and pre-modern forms of struggle, some harking back to the French revolution. These old forms might very well become features of twenty first century anti-capitalist protest.

By |2019-02-26T13:06:53-04:00Feb 26, 2019|

Remembering Erik Olin Wright: All Ideas Are Political

Socialists today should reject the kind of neutrality that conservatives praise Nathan Glazer for. But we shouldn’t confuse that neutrality with empirical rigor. Erik Olin Wright was confident enough in his political commitments to put them under the microscope. We should be, too.

By |2019-02-14T11:21:22-04:00Feb 14, 2019|